The “Vitel Tonné” à la française or “Vitello Tonnato” in italian it’s a traditional starter of my region, Piedmont.
It’s composed by thin slices of meat (vitel) covered by a tuna specific sauce (tonné).
The meat: I’m not good at cutting meat, so I usually take a short cut by buying the already cooked and sliced meat at the supermarket, in the cold cuts area (in Italy, ask for “girello di vitello”). But the best is to cook the meat at home. You will need 600 g round of beef / silverside. Put the meat in a pot with olive oil, add 1/2 onion (not chopped), 2 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaf, some rosemary, 2 juniper berries, 6 cloves, some peppercorn (I use pink pepper), a celery stick and a carrot. Brown the meat, then add some water and let the meat simmer until it’s cooked. Then, let the meat cool down and cut it in slices of about 2-3 millimeters thin (ideally).
The sauce: blend together 100 g of tuna in olive oil, 3 hard-boiled eggs, 15 capers, 4 anchovy fillet in oil, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and some of the cooking stock of the meat. And… that’s it!
Spread the sauce over the meat slices a few hours before the dinner, to let the dish get the flavour. If the sauce it’s too dense, you can add some water. Decorate with capers.